The Bloemfontein local couldn’t match the incredible 64 of leader Michael Hoey, but he did shoot 33 on his outward nine to set up a good chance for the week.
“This is a marathon,” said Hoey. “I’m just pleased to get something out of it, because I’ve been working hard for a long time and not getting the scores. This is really satisfying to get a good score and hopefully I can follow it up tomorrow – Friday 13th is going to be lucky for me!”
Kruger’s last time in contention was at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December, where he tied for 16th place after struggling to move up the leaderboard on Saturday.
The 28-year-old is a regular contender on the Asian Tour, which co-sanctions this week’s tournament with the European Tour. The South African is comfortable in the muggy heat of South-East Asia and that will help him this week.
It will certainly take everything the young South African has to chase down the low-scoring leaders, but Thailand is a happy hunting ground for him. Last year at the Chianmai Golf Classic he tied for seventh place, while in 2013 he tied for fifth there.
At Black Mountain Golf Club on Thrusday the leaderboard was jam-packed on Tuesday, because the scores were out there. Hennie Otto shared 40th place, despite shooting a two-under-par 70.
Following his lead was Adilson da Silva, who made it round in 71 to share 55th place. Bryce Easton was also tied for 55th and on Friday the two-time Sunshine Tour champ will look to make his sixth cut in as many starts in Thailand.
The course is there for the taking, but that means aggressive golf is the order of the week. For Kruger that’s a treat and he’ll surely come out firing on Friday.